To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Going Places

OK. That was a bit of a misnomer, though I DID "go places". This is mostly about our transit system.

First, most of the buses are old, and even if the transit authority had money (which is supposed to come from the cities where the buses go) to fix them, I've heard that some parts are no longer available. Some of the buses ride so roughly that it seems that my back is going to break and my teeth fall out! I call them the "shake, rattle, and roll" buses, what with their worn out shocks and all the squeaks and racket they make! We get hoarse carrying on conversations while riding.

Also, the air conditioning no longer works in most of the buses. Also, I think only 4 paratransit buses will run, and they have to be used for people in wheelchairs. We who are ambulatory ride in supervisors' vehicles, including small white 4-door sedans, a maroon SUV, an old dark blue Mercury Marquis, and some white vans. Some have MAX or BJCTA on them; some are unmarked. On most (not all) of these other vehicles, the AC does work.

I can be on one for less than 30 minutes and have trouble breathing. Drivers, being on these non-AC'd vehicles 8+ hours a day, are getting sick, having to take days off work, and are even being taken by supervisors to the ER! And how about those who ride who've just gotten off a dialysis machine, and the riders who wear metal leg braces ...

And I guess maybe some of the employees who are inside the AC'd building are also getting stressed out. Maybe that's what happened to me a couple of days ago.

For paratransit, we have to be "certified" to ride, and we have to schedule our rides. An individual ticket is $2, or you can buy a monthly pass for $80 for unlimited rides (the best deal for anyone going to work 5 days a week). If it's the same every day, we don't have to call in (such as going to and from work).

I called earlier in the week to change my Thursday afternoon rides, telling the scheduler that I needed to go to work as usual, but that I needed to leave work between 12:30 and 1:00 to go to meet an insurance agent. After calling 2 or 3 times and the dispatcher telling me the driver was on the way, at 2:00, I finally told dispatch that I was at work ... and was told, "Oh, the driver went to your house". Turns out that rather than it being on someone's manifest to get me at work, somehow my home address was printed ...

I finally got to the insurance office. Luckily the lady was still there. But because I was running late, whoever was to have gotten me of course had to get others, and I had to call dispatch to let them know that I was ready to go.

My other stop was to K-Mart. When the driver got me there, another driver was there already. I was on her manifest! Having just gotten there, again, after doing a bit of shopping, I had to call dispatch to let them know that I was ready to go home. I told the dispatcher that I would be inside because there were no benches outside, plus the fact that the temperature was about 100 (which it's been every day for 2 months).

Again, I waited and waited. Finally the dispatcher called to let me know that my driver was outside. I went outside and - no bus. I told dispatch. He asked, "Are you at the pharmacy side or the grocery side?"

He, or someone, or somehow ... the driver had gone to Wal-Mart, and not the WM 1/4 mile from the K-Mart where I was, but to the WM nearest my house, and about 10 miles away.

I got home about 2 hours later than I should have. I am seriously considering quitting my job; the bus situation is one reason.

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